Peter Berger
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Religion & Other Curiosities
October 23, 2013

Catholic Curiosities

The Tablet is the British Catholic periodical that is very useful in keeping informed about developments in the Roman world. On October 5, 2013 [paywalled], it published three seemingly unrelated items which, at least in my mind, raised again the interesting question about what will happen next under the pontificate of Francis I. In the years […]

October 16, 2013

Speaking Truth to Power in the United States Senate

If this blog had a political rather than religious focus, I would now link to the online bulletin of the University of Papua New Guinea, specifically the proceedings of its recent conference entitled “Is the United States Ready for Democracy?” Although the conference was meticulously fair in presenting different points of view (thus living up […]

October 9, 2013

Kemal Ataturk Is Alive And Well And Living In Madison, WI

On October 4, 2013, the New York Times published an article by Kim Severson about the opening of the Newman Center residence hall in Troy, Alabama, which contains the third-largest public university in the state. The dormitory “caters to students who want a residential experience infused with religion”. Newman Centers have of course been around […]

October 2, 2013

White Feminists and Korean Fundamentalists

Not long ago I had a conversation with the dean of a mainline Protestant divinity school. I asked him what his students are like these days. He said that there are three main groups: white women—most of them feminists and/or GLBT activists—African-Americans and Koreans, most in both groups being fundamentalists. He laughed and said that […]

September 25, 2013

A New Chance for Liberation Theology?

Religion News Service, in its online bulletin on September 17, 2013, carries an article entitled “Liberation theology finds a new welcome in Pope Francis’ Vatican”, by Alessandro Speciale (who regularly covers the Vatican). The story was triggered by the news that Francis is about to meet with Gustavo Gutierrez, the Peruvian Dominican, who was one […]

September 18, 2013

American Buddhists

One of my favorite spots in the Greater Boston area is the kiosk in the center of Harvard Square, which I visit every couple of weeks or so, looking around the rich collection of periodicals, and usually buying a few that I am not subscribed to. On my last visit I picked up the September […]

September 11, 2013

Baptism by the Holy Spirit and Baptism by the Spirit of the Age

On September 4, 2013 there was an interesting story in The Christian Century, the banner publication of liberal Protestantism. It contained an objective account of a development that probably did not please the editors of the Century (they deserve good marks for unbiased reporting!).  The report is about a success story of a decidedly non-liberal […]

September 4, 2013

The Constitutional Status of Islam

On August 30, 2013, the Washington Post carried a story about a draft for the new Egyptian constitution, which is to replace the one promulgated in 2012 under President Morsi. The latter had pushed through that constitution in a parliament packed with supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood (this was one of the reasons for the […]

August 29, 2013

Reform Jews, Moderate Muslims, and Scholarly Swedes

Readers of this blog will by now have become familiar with my cognitive preference for free association. I read something about Brazil, which reminds me about something in China, the two items together have an implication for a theory of mine. If the currently fashionable brain science is right, this predilection of mine may be […]

August 21, 2013

Cardinal Newman and the Progressive View of the World

The British Catholic journal The Tablet carried a story on August 3, 2013 that I found suggestive (although its topic is not terribly interesting in itself). The story reports on the surprising growth in England of the Roman Catholic Congregation of the Oratory. This is not a monastic order but a community of secular priests, […]

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